For Caterina Varchetta, a Doha-based Italian artist from Naples, Qatar has a special place in her heart.
“Qatar has infused life into my art works,” says Caterina, who’s been living in Qatar with her husband and two children for the last two years. She was talking to Qatar Tribune Tuesday evening on the sidelines of the opening of her first exhibition in Qatar.
The exhibition is being organised by the Italian embassy in Qatar with the collaboration of Katara Cultural Village Foundation. It will be open for public until October 13.
“The shining Qatar has fulfilled in my life something profound which had been missing throughout my life. I have met the nature here, the combination of shine, sea and desert is all so wonderful. One feels more connected,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Italian Ambassador to Qatar HE Pasquale Salzano said, “We are delighted to open the very special exhibition as part of the Italian embassy’s cultural programme. The event is officially part of the initiative supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to promote abroad the evolution of Italian contemporary art by showcasing the artworks of our best talented artists.”
He further said, “We are very proud that Caterina Varchetta created these artworks here in Doha, where she is exposed to the cultural influence of Qatari traditions and inspired by the landscapes of this beautiful country. This embodies the close relations between Italy and Qatar that are constantly expanding to new fields of cooperation, including in art and culture, where new creative languages are emerging, also thanks to these growing contacts.”
The Italian envoy said the message of the exhibition is powerful. “Art knows no borders. It goes beyond any barriers and rejects all constrictions. To flourish, it must be free. For Caterina, it means no limits, no divisions and no restrictions. Art also implies fluidity and dialogue. This dialogue is firstly visible in the close relationship between her canvas and porcelains, and it’s also emblematic of her willingness to transcend the constraints of pre-conceived artistic boundaries, whether self-imposed or enforced from conventions,” he added.
Elena Sabattini, art curator of the exhibition, said the showcase represents the explosive encounter that generated in the artist a new creative impulse, discovered in Qatar, which inspired her artistic intensity to the core.”
There are 18 paintings and 22 porcelains in the solo exhibition. The 13 paintings and 18 works on porcelain were made during her stay in Qatar.
Meanwhile, talking about her interest in porcelain, Caterina said she has committed herself to keeping alive generations-old traditional art works of Naples on porcelain. “It is fading out fast but I am trying to preserve it,” she said, adding this was the first time she was participating in a contemporary painting exhibition at Mailletz Gallery in Paris. Later, she will be holding her solo exhibitions to be organised in various prestigious art galleries in Italy, France, the UK, and Switzerland.
Caterina’s artistic output in Doha perfectly showcases her use of the red color, bursting into her works as a new, dominant force.
Another constant feature is the presence of gold, a source of energy and creativity and also a gateway to a deeper spiritual essence that goes beyond its connotation as a luxury item. Here the use of broken nets is a tangible expression of an inner liberation – the quest to reject enforced boundaries and to go beyond the imposed labels.
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